The National Mall is located in the area encompassed by Constitution and Pennsylvania Avenues on the north, 1st Street, N.W., on the east, Independence and Maryland Avenues on the south, and 14th Street, N.W., on the west. No longer part of the official Mall grounds is the section of land bordered by Jefferson Drive on the north, Independence Avenue on the south, and by 12th and 14th Streets respectively on the east and west.
A part from the National Gallery of Art, constructed in 1941, no major permanent structure had been built on the Mall since the 1930s. Between the years 1960 and 1980, however, the Mall experienced a period of great construction in which the final four major structures the Museum of History and Technology, the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art were constructed. Additional features added to the Mall during this period were the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, an ice rink, and a subway station entrance.
n January 1937, Mellon formally offered to create the new Gallery. On his birthday, 24 March 1937, an Act of Congress accepted the collection and building funds (provided through the Trust), and approved the construction of a museum on the National Mall.
The new gallery was to be effectively self-governing, not controlled by the Smithsonian, but took the old name "National Gallery of Art" while the Smithsonian's gallery would be renamed the "National Collection of Fine Arts" (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum).
Designed by architect John Russell Pope, the new structure was completed and accepted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of the American people on March 17, 1941. At the time of its inception it was the largest marble structure in the world.
Built 1941 (John Russell Pope; Eggers & Higgins, architects)
DC listing March 7, 1968